It was time for our annual summer book club dinner. We all bring a favorite dish to share. Of course, I nabbed dessert. A chocolate dessert is always a hit with my friends, so I made a Chocolate Souffle Cake topped with juicy berries and cream.
Chocolate Souffle Cake
Like most souffle, this chocolate souffle cake puffs up to perfection then slowly collapses, making it less than picture-perfect with cracks and crevasses. But from gravity’s pull comes the ideal concave surface to hold a cloud of sweetened vanilla whipped cream and loads of ripe berries. Plus, it has the bonus of being a flourless cake which was terrific for one of my book club friends who follows a gluten-free diet.
Hold off on topping your souffle cake till right before your event. I knew I’d bring leftovers home so I added a packet of Whip-It, a whip cream stabilizer, to prevent the cream from separating. The berries deteriorated more quickly than I had hoped, so if you won’t eat this all in one sitting, I’d recommend serving wedges of unadorned cake along with cream and berries to garnish.
My book club starts its 20th year in September. My college senior was a chubby 3-year-old toddler when I walked next door to my first meeting. Many who gathered were already friends, but the rest of the gang became dear to me as well.
We’ve been through deaths of parents, births of grandchildren, divorces, cancer and more. We don’t meet in the summer except for the highly anticipated pitch-in dinner. This chocolate souffle cake was my contribution. For those of you who love to read, here is our comprehensive book list with ratings on a scale of 1 to 10, with higher rank given to those books that elicited wonderful discussion, that we would recommend to friends and other book clubs, and that we personally enjoyed. I’ve only given a handful of books a perfect 10.
This chocolate souffle cake is perfect for gatherings with your dearest friends, family, on holidays and more!
You Might Want:
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) good quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups sliced strawberries, peaches or whole raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form with parchment. Gently melt the chopped chocolate in the microwave. Whisk in the butter, then 1/2 cup of the sugar followed by the egg yolks. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites till foamy. Gradually add the other 1/2 cup sugar and beat on high till whites become firm but not stiff. Stir about a quarter of the whites into the chocolate to lighten, then fold in the rest of the whites.
- Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top.
- Bake till cake is puffy and the center is firm, about 35-40 minutes.
- Cool on rack. Note that center will sink as it cools.
- Before serving, gently toss fruit with a little sugar and set aside. Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla till soft peaks form. Fill the center of cake with whipped cream and top with fruit. Carefully run a knife around the perimeter of the cake to loosen, then remove sides of the pan to serve.
Cooling time not included in total time.